For the love of the Irish, do have a drink and celebrate Irish heritage! Sound familiar? It’s the sentiment in the air this month as it’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day. And when it comes to having a good time, the residents of Charlotte and University City know how to party. An ample array of activities is gearing up from Bruegger’s Bagels green bagel baking to the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Are you ready for a DWI free celebration?
Downing the Drinks
St. Patrick’s Day, sometimes referred to as the Binge Drinking Holiday, is seen as a night to throw down (and back) with the best of them. It starts with one drink, like a pint of Guinness or a shot of green liquor. It’s quickly followed by the warm fuzzies, all around great sensations, and this inexplicable want to match our friends drink for drink. Is it just having a good time, or is it a risk to think twice about taking?
Much like Labor Day weekend, the facts about alcohol-related casualties are sobering. St. Patty’s Day has always been about celebrating the Irish, and we associate it with drinking until drunk and nursing a next day hangover. This type of alcohol indulgence, also called overindulgence, pits patrons head to head with binge drinking, an act with sobering consequences. According to LifeSafer.com:
- Approximately 85,000 deaths are connected to binge drinking.
- On a yearly basis, some 1,400 college students will die due to binge drinking.
- Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to receive a DUI charge.
3 Steps to Safely Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Celebrate and honor Irish heritage this St. Patty’s Day, but do so responsibly. Practice these three simple steps to staying safe and avoiding a DWI charge or worse:
- Know Your Limit: It only takes 4 ounces of alcohol for cognitive function to be diminished. Over time, the body can build up a tolerance to alcohol, but the effects still take hold. Know your limit before drinking. If you’ll be driving, drink less than 4 ounces to avoid a possible accident or DUI charge.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: While applicable to everyone, we especially want to speak to our female readers. Even if you know and stay within your drinking limit, you are still at risk. Unscrupulous individuals may pressure you to drink until intoxication overpowers your judgment, and in some cases, substances have been unknowingly introduced to override sound decision-making. Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid going out alone. Instead, go out with responsible friends and look out for each other.
- Make Smart Decisions: Even the best of us sometimes drink a little more than we meant to. If you question your sobriety for even a second, make the smart decision and relinquish your keys. Take a taxi, ride with a sober friend, or check into a hotel instead of getting behind the wheel.
Charlotte and U-City are teaming with fun activities this St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy them, but stay safe. Don’t binge drink, don’t drink and drive, and don’t celebrate without the safety of good friends.